Highly-anticipated documentary American Rodeo : A Cowboy Christmas lassoes a US digital this month. All details are below on the film. Keen to speak to director H.D Motyl about it?
Focusing on four cowboys as they travel the professional rodeo circuit over two weeks, the film has been called “fascinating” and “a well-rounded account of the ups and downs-literally and figuratively-of an iconic slice of American life.”*
The film is set in the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, when there are over 90 rodeos across 35 states. In hopes of grabbing their share of rodeo fortune and fame, the men drive hundreds of miles, day and night, to get to the next run and another seconds-long chance at winning, even as they risk breaking bones, overdrawing bank accounts, and sacrificing personal relationships.
Writer-Director H.D Motyl and his production crew hit the road with the cowboys in the summer of 2009, and traveled well over 2000 miles to capture them at 18 rodeos in their event of steer wrestling. “There are a lot of rodeos in this three week period–and a lot with big purses,” Motyl explained. “So the cowboys can win a lot of money in a short amount of time. And that’s how this circuit of rodeos became known informally as Cowboy Christmas.” The cowboys who win the most money (the top 15) by the end of the rodeo season in October go the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. “I was fascinated by the idea,” Motyl continued, “of these men putting everything in their lives aside for three weeks and hitting the road to rodeo.”